Anthony Joshua is in need of an opponent for this coming Saturday – and Andy Ruiz Jr says he’s happy to accomodate.
‘AJ’ was all set to face Dillian Whyte in a rematch following their 2015 meeting for the British Heavyweight title. That ended in a knockout, and Joshua predicted the same this time around.
Fans will now likely never get to see this second instalment of the rivalry after it was announced that Whyte had returned ‘adverse analytical findings’ in a Voluntary Anti-Doping test.
It’s understood that the show will go on without ‘The Bodysnatcher’ – who has had two previous doping run-ins – and Joshua’s team is now scrambling to find a late replacement.
Ruiz Jr wants to be that man in the opposite corner, and sent a message to Joshua and his promoter, Eddie Hearn.
“Eddie Hearn, Joshua, I think I’ve found a new replacement – again! Let’s run it back. Let’s get the trilogy. Let’s get it.”
‼️ Andy Ruiz has now issued a direct call-out video to Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn, offering to jump in and make the trilogy fight next Saturday…
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) August 5, 2023
The situation would be eerily similar to 2019. Joshua was all set to make his American debut against Jarrell Miller before the Brooklyn native tested positive for a variety of drugs.
Ruiz was drafted in and produced one of the biggest heavyweight upsets of all time, stopping the Brit in the seventh and claiming the unified world titles.
It was a short-lived championship run as Joshua would win the belts back over the distance just six months later.
Ruiz has been rumoured to face Deontay Wilder this year, the man who Joshua is gunning for at the beginning of 2024 should he come through this next bout unscathed.
An opponent is required, and a third fight with Ruiz would be an accepted alternative to Whyte, but with reports that the Mexican demanded huge sums to face both Tyson Fury and Wilder recently, it may not be so likely.